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"Their choice to allow life to move forward was quite a healing balm for us."
Terri Roberts (TR) and Delores Hayford (DH)
TR: As I turned on the radio on the way there, the newscaster was reporting that there had been a shooting at the local Amish school house.
By that time I was at my son’s home, and I saw my husband and the state trooper standing right in front of me as I pulled in. And I looked at my husband, he said, “It was Charlie.”
That week, we had a very private funeral for our son. But as we went to the gravesite, we saw 30-40 Amish start coming out from the around the side of the graveyard, and they surrounded us like a crescent. And love just emanated from them.
I will never forget the devastation caused by my son.
I mean, especially in the situation with Rosanna. Rosanna’s the most injured of the survivors. Her injuries were to her head. She is now 15, still tube fed and in a wheelchair. And she does have seizures, and when it gets to be this time of year, as we get closer to the anniversary date, she seizes more. And it’s certainly not the life that this little girl should have lived.
So I asked if it would be possible that I might come and help with Rosanna once a week. So I read to her, I bathe her, dry her hair…
DH: Does Rosanna know who you are are, Terri?
TR: I believe Rosanna does know who I am. I can’t say that for a hundred percent certainty. I just sense that she does know.
One of the fathers the other night, he said, “None of us would have ever chosen this. But the relationships that we have built through it … you can’t put a price on that.
And their choice to allow life to move forward, was quite a healing balm for us. And I think it’s a message the world needs.
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StoryCorps is America’s oral history project. Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected more than 60,000 interviews with over 100,000 participants from all backgrounds -- the largest single collection of human voices ever gathered.
Recordings are archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress so that future generations can hear the stories – and the voices – of today.
We share stories online and through our popular weekly NPR broadcasts, podcast, animated shorts, and best-selling books. StoryCorps is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.